The state of Oregon has fascinated travelers and writers for close to two centuries. With his book The Oregon Trail, Rinker Buck has crafted an adventure that you are simply going to love. The Oregon Trail has been praised by The New Yorker as “At once a majestic American journey, a significant work of history, and a personal saga reminiscent of bestsellers by Bill Bryson and Cheryl Strayed. With the book Rinker has tried to bring one of the most important roads in the American History back to life.”

A little bit about the book

The Oregon Trail can be looked upon as a work of participatory history. In the book, the author has shared his encounter of traveling more than 2,000 miles of the Oregon Trail the old-fashioned way – in a covered wagon that was run by a team of mules. Such a method of covering the Oregon Trail has not been used since close to a century.

Buck traveled across six states, starting from Missouri to the Pacific Ocean, in this excruciating journey of the Oregon Trail covering the route that made America. The trail has been witness to the largest land migration in all of U.S. history, where more than 400,000 people migrated to the Western U.S.

“The Oregon Trail” flickr photo by BLMOregon shared under a Creative Commons (BY-SA) license

The author reflects on how the trail connected the coasts and helped in converting the size of the country to almost double of what it used to be. Uniting the coasts and laying the groundwork for railroads, the Oregon Trail has been a symbol of plucky determination playing witness to financial busts, clashes of ethnicities and becoming synonymous with the American character.

In his book, Buck brings back the lost history of the Oregon Trail by sharing the expedition of 2,000 miles through this adventurous trail, which he undertook with the mules, his brother Nick, and Olive Oyl, a Jack Russell terrier.

Dodging through a thunderstorm in the region of Nebraska, chasing his mules across the plains in Wyoming, scouting through more than five hundred miles of almost disappeared trail on foot, the author successfully managed to cross the Rockies to pen down this once-in-a-lifetime experience. While explaining his agonizing journey through this book, Buck manages to shed some light on the natives, evangelists, trailblazers, shysters, and people who were able to make it to the west, through this trail’s journey.

Using his powerful narrative power and an invigorating truthfulness, Buck introduces people to the mistakes he made during the journey. If you are looking to make a journey of the lifetime yourself, but from the comforts of your own home, then this book is a worthy read. From taking you through the gruesome 2000-mile trail, with just a couple of people in an old-school manner, using only mules, the book is surely going to bring you closer to the history of Oregon’s forgotten trail. Happy reading!